Nothing super interesting to discuss today, but some little bits of things to throw out there for all of us to chew on (now I am imagining myself as a zookeeper throwing news meat to my pack of lion-commentators to fight over and masticate down to nothing).
Ajay Gets Bigger Part in Dhamaal Again
I don’t know the Dhamaal series at all, but they seem to be another one like Golmaal, or Masti, where it is roughly the same cast in every film, but new crazy hijinks ensue, and part of the appeal is audience familiarity with it all. Anyway, Ajay was signed for the next one, supposed to be in a smaller role with a smaller compensation to go along with that. But post the success of Golmaal Again, his role and his rate have both gotten bigger.
Two halves to this story, first is the story itself, proof that success breeds success, and Golmaal Again‘s ability to redirect the downward box office trend was noticed by the rest of the industry. And also that a movie’s success, always and for ever, will be credited to the Star more than anyone else. Oh, and this is why a Star should care about a movie’s success. They get paid either way, but their payment for the next film goes up depending on how the last film did.
And the second half is that we actually know this story! The producers are building buzz and promoting it, because they believe the audience will want to see more Ajay, and will respect them for being smart enough to capitalize on him.
Personally, I don’t know if I would necessarily pay Ajay more post Golmaal. Golmaal felt like a total ensemble piece to me, the success should be credited to Ajay, and also Rohit Shetty and Armaal Malik and Parineeti and everyone else involved. But I can see why another lessor comedy series would want to try to pretend it had bought some of that Golmaal magic to add on to its production.
Varun Files Police Report about “Fan”
Here’s a thing! Varun is super friendly and good at fan interactions, on twitter and instragram and stuff. But someone got his phone number and has been sending disturbing messages. He blocked the number, but then got a call from an unknown number threatening suicide. At which point he called the police.
First, something for my non-desi readers to be aware of, “causing suicide” is a criminal offense in India. I’m not sure if that is unique to India or not, but I know it isn’t true in everywhere and it’s an important thing to be aware of when you hear these stories. So obviously Varun was worried about this person as a fellow human being, but he was probably also taking practical steps to protect himself. If this fan had killed herself and left a note blaming him, he could have been arrested. This way he gets his side of the story on record.
And second, this is kind of a new story! It’s certainly not the first time a fan has threatened suicide, or even committed it. But to be dealt with in this way feels different. And I think maybe it is because of the new social media/communications reality we live in? It’s one thing for a fan to write a letter which gets skimmed by a secretary and then passed on, there’s a delay there. And an anonymity, you can send the letter from anywhere in India saying “I am killing myself out of love for you”. It would be hard for anyone to say that the Star should have done something, that they are responsible. But now, it’s instant! You get a message so fast that you actually could do something, and therefore be blamed if you don’t. And it’s direct, no more going through a secretary who sorts out and deals with the nutty stuff, the message comes straight to your phone.
(I assume we all saw the news about the tallest mural in India, for Amitabh’s 75th? To go along with the two massive Amitabh murals already in his neighborhood? I don’t think you could legitimately blame Amitabh for anything that happened to the guy who painted these murals. But it would be very different if instead of a mural it was a personal photo sent to his personal phone every day)
On the other hand, the reaction of the media is immediate and direct too. If this fan had killed herself and blamed Varun, she could have left a message that would have gone out on twitter or where ever immediately to the whole world. And Varun would be playing catch up trying to track it down and take control of the narrative while public opinion swung back and forth around him.
And so instead of this staying between a Star and Fan, it has to be public from the star, has to get the police involved, story leaked to newspapers, etc. etc.
Sara Ali Khan and Anushka Sharma Come Together
This is cool! Sara’s second film might be with Anushka’s production house. Two women coming together. Well, I assume really 3, since sure Amrita is running Sara’s career. Feels very Sonam Kapoor-y, instead of trying to break into a Man’s world, trying to build your own Woman’s world. Both from Sara/Amrita who are moving over to the female side from the start, and from Sonam who is trying to nurture new female talent.
Sara still has to finish her film with Sushant Singh Rajput, and Anushka’s company is finishing Pari, the Anushka starrer, but after that maybe they will be working together.
Now, you ready to get totally shallow? Am I crazy or did something happen to Sara’s face? She lost weight, and has more mature make-up, and suddenly I can’t tell her apart from Shraddha Kapoor or Shruti Haasan or Kriti Sonam or any of the other new young things.
I miss her interesting face! See how she looked just a little bit ago?